Description

    Benito Mussolini Autograph Telegram Signed "Mussolini" in Italian, one page, 8.25" x 12". On "Il Duce del Fascismo/Capo del Governo" ("Leader of Fascism/Head of the Government") stationery, 194_ (c. 1943-1945). To "Führer" (Adolf Hitler), Headquarters. In full, "The ambassador Rahn will communicate my proposal in case that we would have to choose another zone for the government of the Republic after profound examination of the whole aspect of the situation it seems to me the best one. Stop. I beg you to let me know your agreement. Stop. Please do have, Führer, altogether with my kind regards comrade." On July 19, 1943, the same day that 500 U.S. bombers carried out an air raid on Rome, Hitler met with Mussolini in the town of Feltre in northern Italy. Mussolini had requested more military assistance and Hitler said he would do so, but only if Germany occupied Italy and took control of the government. Mussolini agreed. On July 25, 1943, Mussolini was deposed by the Fascist Grand Council. He was arrested but was rescued by the Germans on September 12, 1943, met with Hitler in Munich, and arrived at Saló in northern Italy on September 15th. The Italian National Republican State (Stato Nazionale Repubblicano d'Italia) was formed in German occupied northern Italy and Mussolini was named Provisional Head of State and Prime Minister. Two "Operation Zones" were formed (Adriatic Littoral and Alpine Foothills) and Hitler named Rudolf Rahn, his Ambassador to Italy, to head the government at Saló. Rahn was responsible for general political issues and for relations with Mussolini. In this telegram, Mussolini tells Hitler that Rahn "will communicate my proposal in case that we would have to choose another zone for the government of the Republic." The formal capital of Italy was still Rome, but Saló, in northern Italy, was the seat of government and location of ministries including Foreign Affairs and Interior. Rahn governed until April 28, 1945, when German forces in Italy surrendered and the government of Saló collapsed, the same day that Mussolini was captured and killed by Italian partisans. The telegram has one mid-vertical and three horizontal folds. There is a minor tear at the top edge of the vertical fold (down to the perforations across the top) and one at the lower right edge. There are also almost indiscernible surface creases. Overall, it's in fine condition. It is evident that when Mussolini wrote this telegram to Hitler, he was no longer in control of his government, contrary to what is printed on the letterhead, because he is proposing to Hitler a new location for the seat of the government of Italy, his own country, hoping Hitler would agree. A remarkable correspondence between Il Duce and Der Führer which would be the cornerstone of a World War II collection.

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    Auction Dates
    April, 2007
    16th-17th Monday-Tuesday
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